NFL Draft

Perspective Of An Average Steelers Fan: 2021 Draft Class Tale Of The Tape


For the past few seasons, I compared the Pittsburgh Steelers’ top draft picks against rookies drafted in nearby rounds and playing similar positions selected by other teams. Last year, I tracked Chase Claypool and Alex Highsmith with their contemporaries from the 2020 NFL draft class. This season, we’ll track Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, and Kendrick Green to see how they stack up.

There was no player combine this year due to the pandemic, but I have included performances from the Pro Days. Here are the comparisons of the players selected in the first three rounds. I’ll summarize the rest of the draft class as the 2021 season progresses and provide updates on the past three draft classes midseason.

Let me know if there are other players you want tracked against these Steelers rookies in the comments section.


Statistics extrapolated from Steelers Depot 2021 NFL Pro Day Tracker that also include links to the player’s draft profile.

Name HT WT 40 yd Bench Vertical Broad Shuttle 3 Cone SPORQ RAS
Najee Harris 73 232 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NA NA
Travis Etienne 70 215 4.45 18 33.5 128 DNP DNP NA 9.14
Javonte Williams 69.5 212 4.57 22 36.0″ 123″ 4.09 6.93 122.9 8.79
Trey Sermon 72 215 4.61 DNP 37.0″ 127″ 4.30 6.84 NA 9.66


Running Back Summary

Najee Harris came off the board first, followed immediately by Jacksonville’s selection of Travis Etienne. Denver picked Javonte Williams with pick 35. San Francisco went with Trey Sermon in the third round. The next running back was not selected until the fourth round. Hard to compare measurables since Harris did not participate in Alabama’s Pro Day. He is 17-20 pounds heavier than his contemporaries. We will get to see Harris and Williams head-to-head when Denver visits Pittsburgh. Otherwise, we’ll see how this group compares with each other at after a few games.


Name HT WT 40 yd Bench Vertical Broad Shuttle 3 Cone SPORQ RAS
Kyle Pitts 77 245 4.44 22 33.5″ 129″ 4.35 7.12 131.5 9.64
Pat Freiermuth 77 251 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NA NA
Hunter Long 77 254 4.71 DNP 32.5″ 122″ 4.42 7.41 NA 8.59
Tommy Tremble 75 241 4.65 20 36.5″ 122″ DNP DNP NA 8.90
Tre McKitty 76 246 DNP 22 DNP DNP DNP DNP NA NA


Tight End Summary

Pat Freiermuth was the second tight end selected after Kyle Pitts, who was out of reach of the Steelers. Three tight ends selected in the third round complete this comparable group. Freiermuth did not participate in Penn State’s Pro Day. So, another Steeler pick that’s hard to compare with his contemporaries until midseason.


Name HT WT 40 yd Bench Vertical Broad Shuttle 3 Cone SPORQ RAS
Landon Dickerson 77 333 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NA NA
Josh Myers 77 310 DNP 29 DNP DNP DNP DNP NA NA
Creed Humphrey 76 302 5.11 29 33″ 112″ 4.49 7.50 117.8 10.0
Kendrick Green 74 305 4.89 25 35.5″ 119″ 4.67 7.79 126.8 9.24
Robert Hainsey 76 306 5.24 32 27.5″ 108″ 4.64 7.53 97.2 8.06
Quinn Meinerz 74 320 4.99 DNP 32″ 111″ 4.58 7.54 NA 9.98
Drew Dalman 74 300 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP NA 9.8


Center Summary

The Steelers drafted Kendrick Green in the middle of six players projected to play center. Filling the hole created by Maurkice Pouncey retiring this past season is huge. All except Dickerson were available when Freiermuth was selected. Green ran the 40 quicker than those tested, but lagged in the 20-yard shuttle run and three-cone tests. The question is how that translates once the pads are on. I am interested in how these players compare in the percentage of their teams’ offensive snaps played, avoiding giving up sacks, or causing penalties at the center of the line.

Day Three Selections

Pittsburgh drafted Texas A&M teammates Dan Moore Jr. (offensive tackle) and Buddy Johnson (inside linebacker)  in the fourth round. They should both make the roster and contribute snaps to their respective units. Kevin Colbert  surprised many by trading a 2022 draft pick to snag Isaiahh Loudermilk in the fifth round. Did the Steelers reach for the long defensive end? Pittsburgh also picked up Miami defensive lineman Quincy Roche in the sixth round. In the seventh round, Pittsburgh picked up Oklahoma DB Tre Norwood. Many consider it a steal so late in the draft Talented enough to make the 53-man roster. The Steelers went for a punter with their final pick. Pressley Harvin III is a big specialist at 263 pounds with a big foot. The final three picks must display their wares early in camp to supplant their competition for a roster spot.

It will be interesting to see how many of the third-day selections are contributors for the Steelers by midseason.

Your Music Selection

I always like to include a bit of music. The 2021 draft is completed. Kevin Colbert may sign a few more people. But once training camp starts, the onus is on Mike Tomlin to transform these college stars into Pittsburgh Steelers. Here is Frankenstein by the Edgar Winters Group.

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